20th March 2023
Speaking after the all-important 1-0 win over SuperSport United on Saturday evening, Riveiro says he’s noted that Makgopa is not an out-and-out target man but more of a mobile striker. Pirates with six strikers on their books currently have had to find creative ways to use them and hand game time.
"We spoke about Evidence during the week also, I think he's got potential to be an important football player. I think Evidence is not exactly a target player, he's not a number 9. It's a number 9 who needs space to explore, to run. SuperSport centre-backs are very physical, they're strong. So, we needed somebody who can deal with that and be a target man to put the two centre-backs together at the same time trying to use the space that Lorch was creating to grab the full-back outside. Those are the spaces that we feel that Makgoba could use better for us," he said.
Pirates have been on a roll, winning eight of their last 10 matches and losing only two. They are in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals and are strong contenders to secure the second CAF Champions League spot. Riveiro, touched on whether this international break was going to affect their momentum.
"It's an opportunity to refresh, legs and mind. These weeks are tricky, we have something to work on. Richards Bay is coming very soon, it's going to be very difficult. We are going to be very busy at the end of the month so we are going to work now without the international players," he added.
Pirates have got about five players on international duty this week, and Riveiro is hoping this number is not going to affect their programme that much.
"We are proud to send players to different national teams, it's a handicap but it's not a month break like the world cup. It's not much, we are going to try to keep the players fit to have our competition at the end of the week. We are not playing for points but the players are hungry and they want to contribute. It's going to be a moment to maybe take more time with some certain details and try to come back even stronger than now," he concluded.